A shot can be legal without going over the net.
© Garrett Ellwood
Have you ever had a dispute with a fellow player over a call on the court that you couldn’t settle? Or have you ever wondered why a certain ruling was made during a match you were watching? Maybe you’re just curious about how some scenarios, from the common to the ridiculous, are resolved.
USTA Director of Officials, Richard Kaufman, is here to answer your questions. He selects a few submissions at a time and supplies the definitive rulings through a Q&A.
Have a question of your own? Write to The Final Word!
Subject: Shots going around the net
Question from Lesley: In doubles, when receiving a serve in the deuce court which pulled me off the court completely, I returned the serve with a winner down the alley. The ball did not go over the net, but around the net (just to the right of the post). Is this legal? Does the ball actually have to go over the net to count? The opposing team said that the ball has to go "over " the net to count as a point. We replayed the point.
KAUFMAN: Too bad you listened to them. That is a legal shot. The ball can go around the post on any shot. It can travel one inch from the ground and go around the post as long as the ball does not touch the ground until it lands in the proper court. It need NOT go over the net.
Subject: Double bounces
Question from Charles: Who calls the double bounce? The person hitting the ball?
KAUFMAN: Yes, the player hitting the ball on two bounces calls that on his or herself.